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Venus Transits the Sun on June 5

Last chance to see this rare event.

On June 5, people around the world will be able to watch a rare event as Venus transits the Sun. Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena and occur in pairs eight years apart, the last transit occured in June 2004 and the next pair of transits will occur in December 2117 and December 2125. So if you don't watch now, you're goning to be out of luck! :-)

But, as luck would have it, you can watch it from your computer. On June 5, NASA will be broadcasting the entire event live from the observatory on Mauna Kea Hawaii. According to NASA, "This location will give a wonderful view of the entire transit with little chance of cloud cover to a worldwide audience."

You can add this link to your favorites (or bookmarks) andview the live broadcast from this link: Live Webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii

You can get more information by following this link to NASA's website for this event: http://sunearthday.gsfc.nasa.gov/transitofvenus/

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 03, 2012 at 03:40 AM
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_of_Venus In honor of the stellar job Weather regularly does for us on the Patch (Hat Tip)
North Georgia Weather June 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM
My bad...! I thought I would elaborate more but I didn't want to make it too complicated! R had it correct, it occurs when Venus passes between us and the sun and becomes visible to us on earth (using proper equipment), it almost appears as a black spot on the surface of the sun itself. more...
North Georgia Weather June 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM
What's more amazing are the experiments that scientists will be performing during the transit, this from Wikipedia: Measurement of dips in a star's brightness caused by a known planet transiting the Sun. This will help astronomers when searching for exoplanets. Unlike the 2004 Venus transit, the 2012 transit occurs during an active phase of the 11-year activity cycle of the Sun, and is likely to provide practice in detecting a planet's signal around a "spotty" variable star. Measurement of the apparent diameter of Venus during the transit, and comparison with its known diameter. This will give information on how to estimate exoplanet sizes. Observation of the atmosphere of Venus simultaneously from Earth-based telescopes and from the Venus Express spacecraft. This will give a better opportunity to understand the intermediate level of Venus's atmosphere than is possible from either viewpoint alone, and will provide new information about the climatology of the planet. Spectrographic study of the atmosphere of Venus. The results of analysis of the well-understood atmosphere of Venus will be compared with studies of exoplanets with atmospheres that are unknown. The Hubble Space Telescope will use the Moon as a mirror to study the light reflected from Venus to determine the makeup of its atmosphere. This may provide another technique to study exoplanets. And thank you R, I appreciate the kind words! :-))
Bob Roska June 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM
And as should be noted, never, ever, under any circumstances, look directly at the sun. I know this seems rote, but there WILL be people suffering eye damage because of this event. Be smart and watch the transit via the web on the links provided above.
North Georgia Weather June 03, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Thank you Bob, you are correct also. Pinhole projectors are a safe indirect viewing technique for observing an image of the Sun. While popular for viewing solar eclipses, pinhole projectors suffer from the same shortcomings as unmagnified views when Venus approaches the edges of the Sun. Small features like the halo around Venus will not likely be discernible. Pinhole projectors and other projection techniques are at: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/observe/ Personally, I will be watching through one of the many live streams that will be available here: http://sunearthday.gsfc.nasa.gov/2012/transit/webcast.php

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